This is the moment a massive cargo ship carrying grain from war-torn Ukraine sets off on the final stage of its mission to ease starvation in Afghanistan.
The ship – loaded with 16,000 tonnes of wheat – set off from Zeytinburnu Kazlicesme Port in Istanbul, Turkey, after a final inspection on 27th January.
Turkey’s Ministry of National Defence said in a statement obtained by Newsflash: “The inspections of the grain that will go to Afghanistan within the scope of the humanitarian aid of the World Food Program (WFP) from the Grain Corridor, which was created as a result of Turkey’s initiatives and contributed greatly to the solution of the global food crisis, have been completed.
“The Malta-flagged ship M/V ANHTEIA, whose inspection was completed by the Joint Coordination Centre (MKM), established for the safe transfer of grain products, set off for Afghanistan.”
Afghanistan has faced internal chaos since the Taliban took over the government in 2021.
UN experts estimate that six million people there face emergency levels of food insecurity.
The US and other Western nations suspended financial assistance to Afghanistan after the coup.
And at least seven NGOs have suspended humanitarian work in the country after the Taliban banned women from working with them.
The ban on women delivering aid was the latest in a series of new edicts set on removing women from public life.
They are prevented from using gyms and entering parks, and thousands of women have lost their jobs.
Girls have been prevented from attending middle and high school and banned from attending university.